The last year has been one of new adventures for Emily Zuzik ... a new album, Moby collabs and TV tunes, as you can read all about here. More recently, she has a new city to call home, and now her very first official music video, which Indie Sounds (and no doubt a few other tastemakers on the web) is excited to debut today ...
Indie Sounds: You have a new video out for your song Motels. Why that song?
Emily Zuzik: Well, I was working with a friend's production company, Four Legged Features, and just as I was considering a video, he came to me wanting to do a music video with me. Since it was a collaborative effort, I wanted to be sure that we were both really into the selected song. I gave him the CD and said tell me which one hits you. The funny part was we both had very strong visual responses to the song Motels. In fact, I had shot a complete video in my head to that one before the album was out.
IS: Tell us about making the video? Plans for it?
Emily: The location was KEY to this video. The version I had in my head was shot in Desert Hot Springs, CA in this 50s style motel with hot spring pools and palm trees in the courtyard. Obviously, budget prohibited that version. We started a huge search from Cape May to the Catskills to find a location where we could work under the radar and not interrupt the other guests. We found a great place near Catskill, NY and only had two shoot nights. It's kind of amazing we got this all from a combination of those times and some live footage my friend Drue Penella shot at my CD release party and final NYC gigs.
We loaded up a jeep with Drue, his cameraman and production partner Erik Paulsen, and I (with additional help on the 2nd shoot from Heather Johnson), a ton of props, camera lenses, steady cam, harness, lights, gels, etc. and got to work. It was load in and work until we fell over. Sleep and repeat until check-out, which invariably always was pushed back. Drue then cut a rough, and we got together and worked on the final edit from his home office. It was great to be part of the front of camera and production team. I studied TV production in college but haven't worked in the biz since the mid 90s. I also loved creating the characters with Drue that haunted the motel - plus, it justified the remaining vintage costumes and wigs I still have floating around my house!
My plan for the video is to get it in front of people ... be that through press, music sites, and social media. I think it's a good display of the music I've been making lately as well as the intensity of my live performances. Granted, it's acting a bit, but I think a bit of theatricality goes a long way in rock.
IS: The song is from your recently-released album The Wild Joys of Living ... how's that been received?
Emily: I've had great response from the album. Some say it's my best yet. The live rock shows I'd played were some of my most exciting and press had been very kind as well. The album was featured in AOL's Listening Room, and I had pieces in LA's examiner.com and the Huffington Post. Now I'm in LA really working those songs and meeting music supervisors for placements.
Download The Wild Joys of Living from iTunes.
IS: Right, you just moved ... from NYC to LA. Why the move, and what's the plan there. And any advice yet for others thinking about that move?
Emily: I wanted to return to California and the quality of life it provides - short and sweet. I also have to admit that my artistic focus has shifted from being a touring performer to a studio writer/singer/performer with an eye to licensing in the last few years. Where else might one go, but the center of the movie biz, right? There is so much work out here and, I hate to phrase it this way, but companies need content. Music is needed for films, TV, video games, etc. It's also easier to get meetings with key people here, I'm finding. Maybe I've become bolder with age, who knows ...
Oh, I don't give advice. I followed my gut and my heart on this one.
IS: And finally, video aside, what do you have simmering away ... or on the boil ... music wise?
Emily: I have been meeting a lot of musicians who keep pointing me in the right direction. I'm planning to do more singing and writing for studio work. I just met a bunch of electronica artists who seem keen on co-writing. I have a new drum n bass single with Bipolar on XY Records called Ordinary World and should have a house tune with Tristan D out next year. In a wonderful twist of fate, my collab partner/bassist Tim Lefebvre is in Santa Monica now, and we're hatching plans to bring the songs from Domestic Blitz to new live venues, as well as to write more material. Finally, Art Hays and I have some new songs we're working on for release next year.